Because Boys Shouldn’t Hit Girls

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During our recent exploratory trip to Thailand, our team was blessed with the opportunity to minister at a few orphanages. Due to the nature of the trip being just about meeting people, we hadn’t anticipated this and therefore we went in without a solid plan on what to present to these kids.

What message can you give a child who will soon understand from their culture that their body is only worth as much as they can rent it out for? Where does healthy sexuality fit into a culture where sex can be bought for $5 a night?

At one particular orphanage we ended up presenting a modified version of our “lies” skit. We had Eddie stand tall and represent a young boy seeking to be a man. Megan and I stood on either side of him and alternated giving him advice.

“If you want to be a man, you need to stand tall and speak the truth” Megan would say. Eddie would comply and stand tall and say “Jesus loves me”. Then I came in and said “No Eddie. To be a man you must lie and steal, that is what real men do.” Eddie would sink down a little and consider this advice while the children indicated with a shake of their heads that this wasn’t good advice.

The youth (ages 4-30) were really getting into the game of helping Eddie decide what was truth and what was a lie. He would offer hints by sinking lower or standing taller depending on the advice given. The last piece of advice I offered was that real men hurt women. You could have heard a pin drop as the room waited to see how Eddie would respond to this message. With valor Eddie stood tall and declared “No. Real men do not hurt women. They protect them and they love them like brothers should love their sisters.”

Our translator took the stage after the end of the skit to follow up on that note. He is an American friend of ours with a lifetime of experience working in Thailand. While he spoke, you could see each young man in the room stick his chest out a little farther and sit up a little taller. Each young lady looked around and began to relax in the presence of young men who (we found out later) were being admonished to be valliant protectors of women.

God has a beautiful calling for each child that was present that night, and we know that we were privileged to deliver a piece of it to them through a counter-cultural message. Those orphans now know that they are not alone or abandoned, and that they actually have an opportunity to be family to each other. And family members don’t abuse each other – they protect one another.

What would you give to help a child in Thailand hear this message? We’re going back to deliver this message along with 3 days of additional content about healthy sexuality to children at an orphanage. Can you help us? Just $30 will provide this material to an orphan AND his or her caregiver.

-Courtney Alberson

Courtney is Generation of Virtue’s lead solutions specialist. Which is a fancy way of saying she handles the team’s many IT needs and spends a lot of time in Photoshop. When she’s not finding solutions to problems, Courtney enjoys communicating God’s truth about love and relationships to teenagers and…drinking coffee.

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Prostitutes, Abuse, and Thailand

4ddca121-053b-400c-981e-1e65c4d0cca7_profileEarlier this summer, on the eve of an exploratory trip to Thailand, I found myself asking the Lord again if we were supposed to go. The purpose of our trip was to meet with ministries, churches, missionaries, non-government organizations, etc. who were working with children, youth, and parents in some capacity or another, and see how GOV might serve them. The only thing more intimidating than going to an unfamiliar nation to see how you might teach on the issue of sexual integrity is going to that nation after you’d been repeatedly warned it was going to be very hard (perhaps even impossible) to do what you were setting out to do.

I had been to Bangkok several years ago to learn about the sex trafficking industry, so I had somewhat of an idea of what we were in for, but what I didn’t know was how we were going to “sell” the idea of proactively equipping individuals and families to pursue a lifestyle of sexual integrity in the midst of a culture that, in many ways, embraces things like prostitution. Would it even work?

I prayed again the night before we left Singapore. “Lord, are you sure?” The answer I got left me speechless. Straight from Matthew 21:31: “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”

Once we were in Thailand, the main response we heard from ministry workers (precious people doing some very difficult work) after explaining the type of proactive and preventative work we’d like to do went something along the lines of “This is such a big need here” and “When can you come back?” Courage stirred in my heart as I realized I had heard correctly from the Lord. Yes, He did want us to come minister in Thailand.

As we met with orphanages and safe houses, the picture started becoming clearer. These children had almost all been sexually abused, or at the very least were at risk for being trafficked because of their families’ extreme poverty situations.

I quickly began to realize that I didn’t know what to do when faced with a child struggling to make sense of the abuse he or she had experienced. I asked the Lord, “Father, if we tell them how good it is to wait for sex until you’re married, and we tell them how to protect themselves from sexual predators, what are they going to think about what has already happened to them? There is a lot of pain here. They need your healing, Lord.”

Again the answer came from Matthew: “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (19:14) After reading that verse, I came to the conclusion that I would rather teach a child about sexual purity and guide them to the healer of any trauma they may have experienced than consider them “too badly wounded” to receive such teaching. Isn’t it the Lord’s will to heal us instead of just helping us cope with our wounds?

Our team certainly has a lot of work to do (and a lot to learn!) as we prepare to minister more extensively in places like Thailand, but I am convinced that this kind of ministry is something the Lord is very keen to have us do. I know we don’t have all the answers, but I do know the One who does. I am encouraged when I realize we do not labor in vain when we partner with Him to bring about His Kingdom.

To read about our upcoming trip in October, please click here.

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.

What Is 100Squared?

100squared_100squaredBlueThose of you who are familiar with GOV know that over the years we have dedicated our time to helping families – particularly the leaders of families (parents) – to stand against the tide of culture and fulfill their God-given callings. Over the years, our passion to equip families has grown. We have expanded our focus from our small beginning to include a broader reach: Teens, young adults, children, and most recently the caregivers of orphans and the leaders of indigenous ministries. We have broadened our reach to minister in the following nations: U.S., Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, China, and Australia. We are working to reach more extensively into Thailand and India this year as well.

Over the years, we have seen the Lord work to equip families with the tools they need to pursue holiness. It is our firm belief that culture can be transformed one family at a time. This belief has driven us to keep going – and what we have found is that this is not only a necessary work, but a very fulfilling one as well. Our team considers it a privilege to minister to the people we have so far. And we look forward to many more years of ministry!

However, we cannot do this ministry without supporters, which is why we have launched the 100Squared campaign.

In a nutshell: We are looking for 100 donors to give $100 USD a month to support the ongoing work of GOV.

The details: In the past, we have funded our ministry through one-time donations from generous supporters, speaking honorariums, and selling resources. After much prayer and a close look at our financial needs, we have determined that this model is not sustainable. So in order to free up our team to focus on developing sustainable resources (training, videos, podcasts, books, and lots of other cool stuff), we need to change our approach. These resources will be used in the U.S. and overseas as well as to branch out to other nations that cannot afford love gifts and resource costs. In order to develop these sustainable models, we need to find donors who can support GOV on a monthly basis for the next year.

Would you consider being one of the 100?

Thank you for your continued support of GOV – we appreciate you!